Tuesday, May 10, 2011

New Hope For Treating Parkinson's Disease

There is a new method in neuroscience that could shed light on victims of Parkinson's disease and other neurological disorders and is widely regarded as one of the scientific breakthroughs of the decade. In a study published in the May 2011 issue of F1000 Biology, it was found out that optogenetics could be used for the treatment of neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease.

Parkinson's disease was first discovered by English doctor James Parkinson in 1817 to whom it was named after. Until now no cure has yet been known to exist. The form or method of treatment for PD at present is only to control the symptoms not eradicate it. In most cases medication is done by increasing the level of dopamine in the brain. Some popular personalities who have been known to contract PD are the late Pope John Paul II, Muhammad Ali, Hitler, Michael J. Fox and boxing trainer Freddie Roach.

In 2010, optogenetics was selected as the Method of the Year across all fields of science and engineering by the interdisciplinary research Journal Nature Methods. The scientific research journal Science at the same time highlighted the new technology in its article " Breakthroughs of the Decade"

The technique behind optogenetics is that it works by inserting a virus on certain nerve cells of the brain to make them light- sensitive. By stimulating those cells with a laser, the neuro surgeon could control the activity of specific nerve circuits with millisecond precision and study the effects. This deep brain stimulation procedure could result in better treatment of Parkinson's disease and other symptoms.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Monosodium Glutamate Contributes To Obesity

Monosodium Glutamate(MSG) is a widely popular food enhancer. Its consumption is associated with several health problems, particularly obesity. Other disorders which could be induced by MSG include severe headaches, chest pains, asthma, diarrhea, and a lot more. But I would like to give more focus on the relation between MSG and obesity because it is a major health issue today especially in America. Two out of three American adults are either overweight or obese, and one out of two American children is either overweight or obese. Being obese could also result in having diabetes, hepatitis, high blood pressure, or heart disease among others. So what has MSG has to do with obesity? Monosodium Glutamate causes a condition in our body where the pancreas produces too much insulin. When insulin mixes with blood sugar it will result to body fat. Therefore, those who eat more MSG weigh more.
There was a study made sometime ago among 752 men and women in 3 villages in China. About 80 % of the people in those villages include MSG as ingredient in their cooking. The result of the study found out that one-third of the people who used the most MSG, where almost three times as likely to be overweight. The North Carolina University professor, Dr. Ka He, who led the research, says the study established an association not a casual relationship. He also mentioned that the study is a warning that we should be cautious.
For a bit of history, the process of making MSG was invented by a Japanese scientist in 1909, Dr. Ikeda. After acquiring a patent for his invention, he soon established the company Ajinomoto. The product was later introduced in America in 1948.
Today, the factory created food additive MSG is present in almost in every processed food in the supermarket. Sometimes you may not even know that the food you have purchased has MSG in it, although you are trying to avoid it because you already know the consequences of consuming it. You might need to have a degree in chemistry nowadays to understand most of the ingredients on every item on the supermarket shelves.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Quit Smoking, the most caring X'mas gift to your kids

We all already knew smoking is not good for the body, yet many people still would not kick the habit. It maybe because the temptation is too strong that they cannot resist the urge, especially when they are with their also smoker friends, or they just ignore the health warnings and enjoy what they are doing.
The consequences of smoking tobacco do not only take its toll on the smokers. The second-hand smoke they exhale and smoke from the tobacco itself hugely affects non-smokers as well. Just recently, a report was published on the British Medical Journal which says 600,000 people worldwide are killed every year by second-hand smoke. The study also found that 40% of children and 30% of non-smoking men and women breath-in second-hand smoke. The breakdown of deaths from passive smoking: 379,000 deaths from heart disease; 165,000 deaths from lower respiratory disease; 36,900 deaths from asthma and 21,400 deaths from lung cancer. According to Armando Peruga, a program manager at the World Health Organization and who led the study, the 165,000 people who died of smoke-related respiratory infection are children, mostly from Southeast Asia and Africa. These reports are alarming. The study also noted that children whose parents smoke have a higher risk of sudden infant death syndrome, ear infection, pneumonia, bronchitis and asthma. Their lungs may also grow more slowly than kids whose parents do not smoke.
The reports should make smokers realize that their continued puffing of cigars and cigarettes do not only put their lives in danger but also the lives of their own children. I know how hard it is to kick off the habit of smoking permanently. I myself was once hooked on cigarettes and had tried so many times to quit until I finally did it.
This coming Christmas there is no better way to give your kids a valuable gift which could preserve their health and yours too than by quitting smoke.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ice Cube Diet Harnesses The Power of Hoodia

The growing popularity of the Ice Cube Diet in recent months has again proven the power of Hoodia as a diet supplement for losing weight.
The Ice Cube Diet, manufactured by Desert Labs is different in a way from other diet programs utilizing Hoodia as supplements. The extract of the succulent herb native from South Africa is delivered to your homes frozen in cubes of ice instead of in pills or capsules that can be bought in health stores. The Ice Cube Diet is sold online.
But just like any other Hoodia diet supplements, Ice Cube Diet is reportedly very healthy and provides energy boost for the body aside from suppressing your appetite which would then make you lose weight.
A dieter Alicia Puma was so convinced of her success with Hoodia that she even advocated it by working for Desert Labs, maker of Ice Cube Diet. She is now active in its campaigns. She claims she had loss 25 pounds in 3 months taking the Ice Cube Diet.
Hoodia Gordonii, the plant's official name has been in the health market for sometime already shedding off pounds of hundreds or maybe thousands of overweight people. In fact, the San Kalahari bushmen of South Africa had been using the herb for thousands of years. The nomads ate the stem of the cactus-like Hoodia plant to stave off hunger during their long hunting trips.
The active ingredient in Hoodia tricks your brain to think that your stomach is full even when you have not eaten. It reduces your interests in food and delays the time when hunger sets in.
To explore more information about Hoodia, its effects and benefits visit http://mhlink.com/A48025D1.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Laser Surgery Cannot Remove Your Cataract

Contrary to some beliefs, lasers are not used to remove cataract itself. Not yet. Cataracts can only be removed through a surgical method referred to by ophthalmologists as phacoemulsification. It is an ultra sound technology which breaks up the cataract "sonically" and then sucking it out of the eye.
Another surgical method in which to remove a cataract is through phacofracture. Here, the cataract is broken up into small pieces mechanically using special instruments and directly removes them from the eye through a small incision.

Sometimes, some people who have had cataract surgery, after months or years, develop an after-cataract. An after-cataract is a condition where the natural capsule that supports the intraocular lens of the eye becomes cloudy and thus blurs your vision. A laser surgery is now needed.

The YAG laser capsulotomy is the method applied in treating after-cataract. It utilizes a laser beam to make a tiny hole in the lens to let light pass through. It only takes a several minutes and is painless.

For those who do not have or still do not have cataract but is suffering from other eye problems such as near sightedness, far sightedness or astigmatism there is another form of laser surgery treatment that can correct your vision.
LASIK is a type of refractive surgical procedure intended to reduce a person's dependency on eye glasses or contact lenses. If you have been operated before for cataract say 15 years ago, LASIK can be performed safely and quickly without adversely affecting the positive result of your cataract surgery.
Or you can have a LASIK surgery today and after 15 years you can also have a cataract operation without negating the achievements of your previous LASIK procedure.

Friday, August 27, 2010

USFDA Says Outbreak Could Have Been Avoided

The US Food and Drug Administration said on Aug. 20 that the salmonella outbreak should not have happened with more than half a billion eggs recalled if the new safety rules and inspection requirements were put into effect before July.

The salmonella outbreak has jumped to about 2,000 cases of illnesses between May and July. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention expect the cases will continue to rise.

The new rules which the USFDA first proposed some 5 years ago only took effect last July 9. Some of the rules states that egg farms routinely test eggs and facilities for salmonella bacteria which cause illnesses such as typhoid fever and the food borne illness salmonellosis. The rules also required egg farms to ensure that chicks are free from salmonella infection and protect feeds and water from contamination. It also required eggs to be refrigerated on farms.

Sherri McGarry of the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition said the FDA had not investigated the operation in Wright County, the first Iowa farm to recall 380 million eggs, previously because it had no authority to inspect the farms until the safety rules took effect.
Salmonella enteritidis, the bacteria strain suspected for the outbreak can invade an egg in several ways. One way is by the contamination of egg shells with fecal matter. Salmonella are present in the intestines and feces of infected humans and animals, including chickens, and can be transferred to the eggs when chickens sit on them.

To protect against salmonella infection health officials recommend that food be heated for at least ten minutes at 75 degrees centigrade (167 degrees Fahrenheit so that the center of the food reaches this temperature.

This whole incident of outbreak and egg recalls made me to think that eggs are a primary source of salmonella infections for humans.

Friday, July 2, 2010

What Medical People Say On The Vuvuzela Mania

There is not a single more popular thing at the world cup in South Africa than the vuvuzela, the ubiquitous plastic horn blown on the stadiums in every game and at every streets of South Africa.

It is so popular that business selling the stuff is making a killing.
Ironically, earplugs have also been getting their share of brisk sale, owing to not a few people who are annoyed to the noise created by vuvuzela blowers. Even players of several countries participating in the event are complaining that they cannot concentrate on their game due to the noise.

An article in the South African Medical Journal about the studies made by the department of communications pathology at the University of Pretoria, said that spectators who are exposed to the blaring sound of vuvuzelas for more than a few minutes are at risk of hearing loss. A regular football game last for 90 minutes.

Hear the World, a foundation launched by Phonak AG, a hearing-aid maker based in Switzerland, said in June that horns pose a risk of permanent hearing loss to a person who is exposed extensively at 85 decibels.

An audiologists who studied a soccer match with 30,000 spectators, noticed that there was a significant deterioration in the hearing of soccer fans after the match. They concluded that the intense sound produced at the bell end of the vuvuzela is "still unacceptably high" even with hearing protection.

What could be the biggest threat, according to health experts, are the blowing hard into vuvuzelas which may spray droplets of spittle onto other spectators, and with it the flu and other infectious diseases.

Dr. Ruth McNerney of the London School of Hygiene and Topical Medicine noted, “If someone with a chest or throat infection uses the vuvuzela in at crowded place, then they could spread the infection around them".